Thursday, May 30, 2013

How Would Jesus Teach Teens

Jesus was like a youth pastor. Don't believe me? I'm not alone in my thinking. Greg Steir, of Dare2Share Ministries, has often used Matthew 17:27 as his proof text. This is where Jesus sends Peter to get a fish, open its mouth and take the coin out to use for the Temple tax for Jesus and Peter.

The idea is that only men 20 years and older had to pay the Temple tax, so the rest of the disciples must have been teenagers. Thus, Jesus was the first youth pastor. As Greg continues, Jesus had one adult volunteer (in Pete) and 11 teens in his group, one of whom was a problem teen. We've all got one of those.

But Jesus also dealt with randomness. Ask any youth pastor how many times he has been interrupted mid-sentence so some kid can ask to go to the bathroom. I was once to the 'altar call' part of my talk when some kid asked how soon I would be done. Yes, I could definitely feel the Spirit moving that night.

But it's Luke 11 where Jesus is talking and some random lady shouts out, 'God bless your mama.' That's not a direct quote from the Greek, but Jesus was talking about satan's kingdom being divided and how demons work. Out of nowhere, BAM, a woman just blurts out randomness.

Another time, in Luke 12:13, in the middle of Jesus teaching, some guy asks him to tell his brother to share. Jesus was talking about some pretty good stuff, including identity and choosing to follow God. But all this guy can think about is getting his share of the toys from his brother.

I could be talking about God's grace and some teen will interrupt to ask about sex. Of course, I could be talking about a lot of things and teen guys will be thinking about sex. Then again, when I am talking about sex and dating and relationships, then they'll ask about Revelation and the End Times.

The key to speaking with teens, or apparently anyone even listening to Jesus' sermons, was to use their questions as a segue to getting back on topic.

When Jesus was interrupted by the woman declaring how blessed His mother was, He was smooth as silk. He reminded everyone that people are blessed when they listen to Him. Then He went on saying stuff they should listen to.

When the brother interrupted Jesus to demand his share of the inheritance, Jesus asked simply why He was being asked. Then, POW, a sermonette on greed.

If I'm talking about the importance of Bible study and some guy asks about sex, asking how far is too far, my segue response is to say, 'That's a very good question. If you were studying the Bible, you'd know what Jesus said about that. You'd have also noticed Song of Songs in the OT and realized marriage is going to be fun.'

Voila! Another guy studying his Bible.

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